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School shooter who killed parents and classmates breaks silence over ‘guilt’

A school shooter who murdered his parents before killing two fellow students in 1998 has broken his silence.

Kip Kinkel, now 38, said he feels “tremendous shame and guilt” over the horror in Oregon, US 23 years ago.

The gunman, then 15, was sentenced to 111 years behind bars over the four deaths.

Kinkel also injured a further 25 people after opening fire at Thurston High School on May 21.

It emerged after the murders that the then-teenager was suffering from an undiagnosed case of paranoid schizophrenia.

His family had a long history of mental illness, which his parents are said to have concealed from psychologists.

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Students gathered in the days after to pay their respects

Kinkel has now broken his silence about the shooting and his subsequent time at Oregon State Correctional Institution.

He told HuffPost : “I have responsibility for the harm that I caused when I was 15.

“But I also have responsibility for the harm that I am causing now as I’m 38 because of what I did at 15.”

He had been suspended from his school the day before he carried out the atrocities after being caught with a handgun.

His father, William, 59, then told his son he would be sent to a military facility if he did not clean up his act.

According to a taped confession, Kinkel began his spree at 3pm on the same day by shooting his dad in the back of the head.

He then waited for mum Faith, 57, to return at home at 6:30pm before murdering her too.

The next day, Kinkel drove to his school wearing a trench coat to conceal his five weapons – before opening fire.

He killed students Mikael Nickolauson, 17, and Ben Walker, 16, and injured more than two dozen others.

Mourners gather together for a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of a local high school shooting
Vigils were held for the victims in 1998

Kinkel has never previously spoken to the media before, and said it was “partly” because he feels “tremendous guilt and shame”.

He added: “And there’s an element of society that glorifies violence, and I hate the violence that I’m guilty of.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything that’s going to bring more attention.”

Kinkel said he first started hearing voices in his head aged 12 and his “whole world blew up” when he was suspended for carrying a gun.

He says he was fixated on the idea that China was going to invade the US so decided to arm himself.

Kinkel says he was “obsessed” with obtaining guns, knives and explosives.

Students gather at a makeshift memorial created for the victims of a local high school shooting
Kinkel pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder in 1999 and was jailed without the possibility of parole

Kinkel pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder in 1999 and was jailed without the possibility of parole.

A measure was passed in 2019 in Oregon to stop automatically sending children aged 15 to 17 to adult court for certain crimes.

It was also approved to make sure that young people are not sentenced to life in prison without the chance to seek parole.

But critics quickly pounced and pointed towards Kinkel’s case, worried that it could see him freed.

Legislators then passed another measure to clarify that the rule change was not retroactive – reaffirming the shooter’s life sentence.



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